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10 Worst McDonald's Menu Items of 2020

Stay away from these the next time you hit up the drive-thru.
McDonald's bag on the counter

Look, McDonald's is tasty—extremely tasty. We get it. But we also know that behind all that burger-and-fry goodness you'll find nutritional facts that are less than ideal. And while nothing on the McDonald's menu is "healthy" per se, there are certain items that are slightly less unhealthy than others.

We've compiled this worst food list to help you remember the things you should stay away from the next time you hit up the golden arches. It includes regular menu items, as well as some limited-time items and "secret menu" concoctions that rack up not only calories, but also the artery-clogging saturated fats and sodium.

For more, check out The One Vitamin Doctors Are Urging Everyone to Take Right Now.

1

Big Breakfast with Hot Cakes

Mcdonalds big breakfast
Courtesy of McDonald's
Per plate: 1,340 calories, 64 g fat (25 g saturated fat), 2,090 mg sodium, 155 g carbs (6 g fiber, 48 g sugar), 35 g protein

This oversized breakfast plate includes three hotcakes, scrambled eggs, a biscuit, hash browns, a sausage patty, hotcake syrup, and butter. The meal provides 67% of the daily recommended calories (based on a 2,000 calorie diet), 123% of the daily recommended amount of saturated fat, 91% of the daily recommended amount of sodium, and over half your day's worth of carbs. There is just no need for so much food with so many unhealthy components in one meal.

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2

Double Quarter Pounder with Cheese

McDonalds double quarter pounder
Courtesy of McDonald's
Per burger: 740 calories, 42 g fat (20 g saturated fat), 2,360 mg sodium, 43 g carbs 2 g fiber, 10 g sugar), 48 g protein

This stacked burger includes two 4-ounce 100% beef patties topped with onions, pickles, and two slices of melty cheese on a sesame seed bun. And while this sounds like heaven for your taste buds, it's less so for the rest of your body. The sodium in this burger is close to 100% of the daily recommended maximum, and given that many other foods contain some amounts of sodium, you're sure to go over the daily limit.

3

Double Quarter Pounder with Cheese Meal

double quarter pounder meal
Courtesy of McDonald's
Per burger: 1,270 calories, 57 g fat (22 g saturated fat), 1,675 mg sodium, 142 g carbs 6 g fiber, 66 g sugar), 53 g protein

If ordering the Double Quarter Pounder with Cheese wasn't enough, pair it with fries and regular soda for a meal with even more artery-clogging potential. The quantity of food in this meal is over the top, with three-quarters of the recommended amount of fat and over half your recommended daily carbs eaten in one sitting. Not to mention the massive amount of unhealthy nutrients including sodium, sugar, and saturated fat.

4

The McRib

mcdonalds mcrib
Courtesy of McDonald's
Per sandwich: 520 calories, 28 g fat (9 g saturated fat), 890 mg sodium, 46 g carbs 2 g fiber, 13 g sugar), 24 g protein

This McDonald's favorite is back for a limited time, and in case you need a refresher, it consists of seasoned boneless pork dipped in tangy BBQ sauce topped with onions and dill pickles, and served on a toasted homestyle bun. But don't grab your car keys just yet. The not-so-large sandwich provides 46% of the daily recommended amount of saturated fat. As if that wasn't enough to stop you from ordering it, it's also drowned in a sugary BBQ sauce which contributes to the over 3 teaspoons of the sweet stuff.

5

Land, Sea and Air Burger

mcdonalds secret menu land sea and air burger
Ann Marie Langrehr/Eat This, Not That!
Per burger: 1,080 calories, 52 g fat (13.5 g saturated fat), 1,840 mg sodium, 109 g carbs 5 g fiber, 17 g sugar), 45 g protein

The "secret" McDonald's menu items are creations you can make when you put together several menu options. For this over-the-top burger, you order one cheeseburger, on McChicken, and one Filet-O-Fish—and put it all together into one humongous sandwich (with the extra buns stacked inside). You don't really need us to tell you this is a bad idea. The McDonald's nutrition calculator can easily crunch the numbers to give you a whopping 67% of your daily recommended amount of artery-clogging saturated fat and 79% of the daily recommended amount of sodium.

6

Big McChicken

mcdonalds secret menu big mcchicken
Ann Marie Langrehr
Per sandwich: 1,750 calories, 93 g fat (21.5 g saturated fat), 2,690 mg sodium, 162 g carbs 6 g fiber, 24 g sugar), 67 g protein

This "secret" McDonald's menu item is made by assembling a Big Mac and three McChickens. This monstrosity provides 87.5% of the daily recommended amount of calories, and the sodium and saturated fat levels are out of control with 116% and 110% of the daily recommended max, respectively. Your best bet is to spread out the consumption of the four sandwiches by ordering them on four separate occasions . . . over the course of a month.

7

McFlurry with M&M's

Mcdonalds mcflurry
Courtesy of McDonald's
Per regular size: 640 calories, 21 g fat (14 g saturated fat), 200 mg sodium, 96 g carbs 2 g fiber, 83 g sugar), 13 g protein

This dessert provides one third of your recommended calories for the day, and that's after you've probably chowed down a whole meal worth hundreds of calories. A good amount of calories in this bad boy come from sugar—it contains the equivalent of close to 21 teaspoons of it!

8

Chocolate Shake

McDonalds chocolate shake
Courtesy of McDonald's
Per large size: 840 calories, 22 g fat (14 g saturated fat), 420 mg sodium, 142 g carbs 1 g fiber, 122 g sugar), 19 g protein

This long-time favorite is made with soft serve ice cream and chocolate syrup and topped with whipped topping. It's no surprise that both the saturated fat and sugar are just out of control, packing 71% of the daily recommended amount of saturated fat and over 30 teaspoons of sugar.

9

Caramel Frappe

Mcdonalds mccafe caramel frappe
Courtesy of McDonald's
Per large size: 670 calories, 27 g fat (17 g saturated fat), 200 mg sodium, 96 g carbs 0 g fiber, 89 g sugar), 11 g protein

This McCafe beverage is made with caramel flavor and a hint of coffee blended with ice and topped with whipped topping and caramel drizzle. The large size provides more calories than most burgers on the menu and has as much sugar as over 40 pixie sticks. Avoid!

10

Cinnamon Roll

mcdonalds
Courtesy of McDonald's
Per large size: 670 calories, 27 g fat (17 g saturated fat), 200 mg sodium, 96 g carbs 0 g fiber, 89 g sugar), 11 g protein

In October, McCafe added several pastry items to their menu including a cinnamon roll which is available all day. With more calories than you should have in one meal and the equivalent of over 22 teaspoons of sugar, we're calling it one of the worst things you could eat at McDonald's.

And for more, check out these 100 Unhealthiest Foods on the Planet.

Toby Amidor, MS, RD, CDN
Toby Amidor is an award winning dietitian and Wall Street Journal best-selling cookbook author who believes healthy and wholesome can also be appetizing and delicious. Read more
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